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Part IV: Under Mac OS X's Hood > The X Window System

Chapter 26. The X Window System

Although the X in "Mac OS X" is not the same X as in "The X Window System," you can get them to play nice together.

Most Unix systems use the X Window System as their default GUI. (We'll refer to the X Window System as X11 instead of X, to avoid confusion with Mac OS X.) X11 includes development tools and libraries for creating graphical applications for Unix-based systems. Mac OS X doesn't use X11 as its GUI, relying instead on Quartz (and, on compatible hardware, Quartz Extreme), a completely different graphics system. However, Apple's own implementation of X11 for Mac OS X, based on the open source XFree86 Project's X11 (http://www.xfree86.org/), was initially released as a beta for Jaguar and is now bundled with Mac OS X Panther as an optional installation. Apple also provides an X11 software development kit (the X11 SDK) on the Xcode Tools CD that ships with Panther.


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